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Google is an indispensable aid to small businesses. Of course, you want potential customers to be able to easily find your site and your services. Once you have a customer, though, that shouldn’t be the last connection between you and Google. In recent years, Google Reviews has become increasingly important in maintaining your clientele and attracting new customers. In fact, it’s been proven countless times that reading reviews heavily influences service choices. Let’s look at how you can add Google Reviews to your website and take advantage of its power.

What is Google Reviews, and How Can it Benefit You?

Google review links are direct links that customers can use to write a review where others will see it. With a direct link, customers can post a review of your business in just a matter of seconds. The reviews can be as simple as one to five-star ratings, or your customers can leave detailed descriptions of their experiences with your business. While there certainly isn’t anything wrong with a quick five-star rating, customers who elaborate on their interactions with your business will give new site visitors a clearer idea of what you offer and a much better chance of turning them into future clients. Google Reviews’ algorithms also can give a boost to your search ratings, as the more positive the reviews, the higher your local search ranking.

Ways to Add Google Reviews to Your Site

Naturally, you want to inspire customers to leave comprehensive (and positive) reviews on your site, but don’t think that providing that space will be complicated to implement. Google allows you to connect to reviews directly through its Google My Business section (formerly Google Places). When someone Googles your business or searches for it within Google Maps, reviews will be automatically displayed within the search without the consumer having to go directly to your site to see them. Third-party platforms such as WordPress offer easily installed plugins that not only encourage reviews but can also store the reviews on your website itself, rather than having to depend on Google to keep them visible to your site visitors. Upgraded widgets can tie together reviews from other search engines and display only top rated testimonials. If you want to be more proactive in soliciting reviews, you can send customers a link to Google Reviews’ submission form.

The Good, the Bad, and the Misunderstood

If you’ve ever read any business reviews, you know that no matter how impeccable the services provided are, someone will be negative. Sometimes it’s just trolling, sometimes it’s a misunderstanding, and sometimes…well, maybe it was indeed a service breakdown. Considering that businesses with two or more negative reviews can lose up to 44 percent of potential customers, it helps to be able to offer your viewpoint as well. Google My Business allows you to respond to negative reviews, with your responses as easily visible as the reviews. If the issue was a genuine service error, an apology and offer to make things right can go a long way towards easing minds. However, you don’t want to get into an argument with a reviewer or provoke trolls to new creative heights. If that’s the case, a simple “I’m sorry for the inconvenience” should handle it, although if things escalate you can certainly take other measures. Ninety percent of consumers read online reviews and influence buying decisions, so you’ll want to make sure that you respond quickly and tactfully. In fact, unhappy consumers are 70 percent more likely to use a business’ services if the business responds to their negative reviews and solves the problem complained about.   When you make it easy for your customers to spread the good word about your product or services, you can gather data about what’s going well and what needs improvement. Even better, you can sit back and watch your business grow. For all your brand management needs, let us help — contact us today!
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